From bike riding in your bathers to making the distance
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I just ran my first triathlon yesterday and LOVED IT! The bike leg is my worst leg of the 3, which I totally expected as I just used my rusty old mtb and I'm a much more confident runner and swimmer. I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to invest in a roadie. As I think my main focus will be tri's rather than just cycling should I look to something more tri specific or just go with a roadie? I am only looking at spending 1000-1500 for my first bike. Any other generic advice about buying a bike and training would be hugely appreciated too.
Hey Smurfet. I'd recommend buying a normal road bike. Many group and charity rides don't allow tri bikes due to the positioning of your hands in relation to brakes, gears etc. Also, the positioning is so different to a mtb which sounds like what you are used to, that it may deter you from riding. I'm not saying it isn't doable, but a roadie is more versatile.
For the sort of money you are considering, you could pick up a bike that would make a huge difference to your times, and give you the opportunity to get used to a roadie. You can always all clip-on tri bars to a roadie too. The positioning isn't usually as aggressive, but suits most people.
What distance are you racing? I'd argue that there is little benefit to be gained in shorter races with a full tri bike setup.
I have both a roadie and a tt bike. The tt bike tends to live on the trainer until I fancy a change, but most of my riding is on the roadie (some commutes, weekend flings etc).
As to what bike...I'm not sure I can help. There are some good second hand deals around depending on what size you are after. You'd want to know what you were looking at though so might not be a good option if this is your first foray into roadies.
A friend of mine who is booked for a half iron man just got herself into a specialized dolce elite - it was alu frame, black and pink (that was important to her!!), and tiagra gears. I'm pretty sure she had change from $1500 with shoes, pedals, helmet, Knicks, and jersey in the price. It was from a local store so full warranty and bike fit and she was happy with the service and info provided.
Thanks so much for the advice. The tri I did was only a sprint but once I have a few sprints under my belt and am more confident riding I'd like to give an Olympic distance a go as well so that's the sort of distances I'm aiming for. What is the difference between a tri bike and a normal roadie? Just the handle bar setup?
Depending on the bike, there are seat tube angles, but these can be played with by saddle position. I'm further over the bottom bracket on the tri bike. I've got tri bars on my roadie too and am happy riding that in the aero position. I only really got the tri bike because it was 50% off, it fitted, I liked it, and I had some "spend" up my belt so Mr Moo couldn't complain (well...couldn't complain with anger!!). I didn't think I needed it and my goal is half iron man (one day).
A tri bike might save you a few minutes - there's plenty of studies on the web and links on this site about aero savings - but in the big scheme of things, I'd suggest 5 minutes may not matter too much. Unless you are looking at elite racing...I'm not so I assume others aren't either
For price, versitility, and comfort, roadie is your friend...with tri bars later if you feel you need to
Thanks. Ok new question. Second hand v new? From all the forum stalking I have done it seems like you can get quite a good deal if you buy second hand but as fit seems the most important and I don't know that much about bikes yet should I buy new so I can get properly fitted? I am looking at spending around 1000 - 1500 for a bike/accessories knowing fully well about "upgraditis" and that if I get more hooked on this cycling/tri thing I will want to upgrade, but you have to start somewhere right?
There are some very good second hand deals to be had, but I'd be concerned if you didn't know what you were lookig for/at. It may not end up cheaper in the long run. I'd have a chat with your lbs in the first instance if I were you. It may just give you the info and confidence to look at second hand
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